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#11438912 - 02/25/16 12:58 PM Gills in lake full of vegitation?!
Action_Jackson Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 01/18/15
Posts: 1265
Loc: Dallas, Texas
Found a lil small lake about an hr outside of Dallas...this lake is full of vegetation that's visible about a foot from the surface. Water is clear til about 3-4 feet down! Im wondering are there any bigger gills in this lake and if so how do you find em? I know the spawn is coming up so would they likely be around the tadpoles or shallows? Also, theres a sandy bottom along the edges of the lake that stretches pretty close to a cove.

I heard this same lake was great for crappie but I couldn't get my jig down past all of the vegetation. Finally threw a cork with a plastic cricket tipped with a crappie nibble and caught a small greenie! Just wondering if this will be worth the time and efforts or if I should pass it by and keep on to the next body of water! Need some knowledge from some of the bull gill vets!!!
_________________________
Katchin krappie...doin surgeries(filleting)...and givin hott grease baths until krunchy and golden brown is what it's all about!!!

"STAY ready for the THUMP"!!!!

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#11439245 - 02/25/16 03:09 PM Re: Gills in lake full of vegitation?! [Re: Action_Jackson]
banker-always fishing Online   content
TFF Guru

Registered: 07/12/10
Posts: 37201
Loc: Universal City Tx.
Usually small lakes do not hold many BIG Bluegill unless they were stocked or on private property. A Bluegill will only grow according to it's surroundings. If the lake has a deep area then the possibility of nice Gills will exists. Also it will depend how much the lake gets fished. I have seen small pounds that were once loaded with nice fish but when fished a lot the good fish were no longer to be found. Vegetation is good especially in a small pound or lake. It can help protect fish. I would use a slip float and fish the edges of the weed/grass beds. Once the weather gets warmer and stays warmer the Bluegill will get active.


Side Note: Also look for minnows. If there are minnows in the lake that is a good sign that bigger fish are there. This is only my opinion and past experiences fishing small lakes. Unless the lake is private small water bodies usually get fished out! Just my two cents. 2cents thumb
_________________________


IGFA World Record Rio Grande Cichlid. Lake Dunlap.

John 3:16


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#11439394 - 02/25/16 04:08 PM Re: Gills in lake full of vegitation?! [Re: Action_Jackson]
Action_Jackson Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 01/18/15
Posts: 1265
Loc: Dallas, Texas
It doesn't get fished much at all and is known for a bass lake! Ive heard of good crappie fishing there also! Lake is 20' deep! Half is clear and the other half is full of thick vegetation! Next time, I'll check the shallow for beds once it gets warmer. Hopefully its some big shellcrackers in there
_________________________
Katchin krappie...doin surgeries(filleting)...and givin hott grease baths until krunchy and golden brown is what it's all about!!!

"STAY ready for the THUMP"!!!!

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#11439890 - 02/25/16 07:56 PM Re: Gills in lake full of vegitation?! [Re: Action_Jackson]
jagg Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 10/12/08
Posts: 3794
Loc: South Texas
Folks in my fishing circle call those types of lakes and ponds "salad bowls". Salad bowls can be close to Nirvana or ultra frustrating when it comes to fishing for sunfish and crappie. These ponds/small lakes tend to be clear because of the abundant vegetation. I really like to pitch and cast jigs and nano crankbaits/topwaters. When you can fish over the top of that veg and bluegills dart out of it to smash your presentation and quickly try to dart back into the cover, it is some of the most fun you can have panfishing. At the same time, when the sunfish stay buried in the weeds and you have to go into the jungle after them, it can really test your patience. Normally you do want to find defined edges of the veg, specifically the inside and outside edges, and concentrate your efforts there first. In a salad bowl, that can be difficult because the whole lake/pond is wall to wall carpeted with vegetation. If that is the case, what I tend to look for is where different types of veg come together, isolated tall clumps and depressions in the veg. Normally you can see tell tale signs of different types of veg coming together by looking at the bank. If you see a transition from mud to sand or sand to gravel or something similar to that, it normally signifies a veg collision beneath the water. If you see a veg change above the water, like trees to grassland, it sometimes mean a change below the water as well. What is often the easiest way to tell if there is a veg change is to pay attention to the bank change itself. A change from a gentle sloping bank to a 45° bank means not only will THAT change continue under water, but the type of veg will change also. Same basic concept with a change to where the bank changes to the dam or when the bank transitions into a steep bluff.

When it comes to what you described, it doesn't sound like a true salad bowl since most wall to wall weed small lakes and ponds rarely exceed 12'-15' deep. Weeds can grow down into 20'+ deep but those types of drops normally more readily offer defined edges that can be fished and broken down more easily. Where I disagree with BAF somewhat is that weedy ponds/small lakes CAN (emphasis on can) grow BIG bluegills because of the simple fact that all those weeds tend to provide an excellent forage base and plenty of cover to hide in. It doesn't always make for excellent and consistent CATCHES of the big boys, but it normally does give good conditions for the chance at big sunfish. One thing that you mentioned in your OP AJ is that the pond is known as a big bass lake. That can be a blessing and a curse. It's a blessing because normally a healthy population of bass, especially a good number of bigger bass, can keep the bluegills from overpopulating and stunting. That gives the bluegills that have the genes to become big the chance at forage and space to reach their potential. Adversely, those big bass keep the bluegill from roaming the water as freely as we anglers would like. The safest place for those sunfish to be is buried down deep in those weeds. This limits how you can fish for the 'gills. Fishing for them from shore is exceedingly difficult. Night panfishing from shore in a weedy lake like that can be more productive because the bass and 'gills are playing a more even cat and mouse game in those types of lakes at night. When you do find them in the daytime in the weeds, your techniques for fishing for them are limited. BAF made a very good suggestion when he recommended a slip float rig. It's a good compact rig to fish on the edges and in holes of veg and can make a presentation to tight holes when dipping with a long rod (8'- 16' dipping rods). I also like to pitch or fish vertically with a modified drop shot rig. With my drop shot rig or the slip float rig, I will replace the standard hook or jig with a Charlie Brewer Crappie Slider jig. I can rig it with a slider grub or what ever I want really, but it makes for more time fishing and less time rigging and shedding weeds and fixing your rig. If you plan on trying to punch those weed canopies, take a note from our bass friends and spool up with braid, some type of superline or fluorocarbon and also use heavier weights. That's mainly why I tend to use a drop shot approach. I am anxious to try the drop shot rig beneath a slip float like some one suggested earlier this winter.

Hope this helps, AJ. Take my word, when you get on a hot bite on salad bowls, they are fun time that you will not soon forget!
_________________________
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless His Holy Name!

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#11440055 - 02/25/16 08:52 PM Re: Gills in lake full of vegitation?! [Re: Action_Jackson]
Laker One Online   content
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 07/03/11
Posts: 9191
Loc: San Antonio TX
Totally agree on all the above post. Me personally I have only fished a few small lakes and like has already been said unless they were on private property the lakes especially community ponds did not have good quality fish. As for fishing through the weeds I would usually look for openings at the top and try fishing through them. Also try fishing the edges of the vegetation beds.



Side Note: If that lake had bass and Crappie in it and it is a deep lake,there should be some very nice fish there.

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#11440151 - 02/25/16 09:21 PM Re: Gills in lake full of vegitation?! [Re: Action_Jackson]
Action_Jackson Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 01/18/15
Posts: 1265
Loc: Dallas, Texas
Wow...I sure do appreciate the info fellas! First rounds on me martini
_________________________
Katchin krappie...doin surgeries(filleting)...and givin hott grease baths until krunchy and golden brown is what it's all about!!!

"STAY ready for the THUMP"!!!!

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#11440638 - 02/26/16 07:15 AM Re: Gills in lake full of vegitation?! [Re: Action_Jackson]
JigandJeep Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 01/20/15
Posts: 113
One way to find out if there are big ones in there is to fish the spawn. Look for the moon craters on the sandy part when it gets warmer and the big ones will be there and not hiding in the grass as much. The problem is you don't live close enough to make quick scouting trips to this area, so you'll be rolling the dice on whether or not they're spawning. I don't want to start the argument about not keeping big bluegills, but I would definitely throw the big ones back in a smaller body of water.

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#11440652 - 02/26/16 07:22 AM Re: Gills in lake full of vegitation?! [Re: Action_Jackson]
Smithaven Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/23/10
Posts: 1820
Loc: Hurst, Texas
Action-Jackson. Your private mailbox is full. Please delete some old messages so we can send you a PM.
_________________________
.
Seventy years of chasing the elusive sunfish.

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#11440812 - 02/26/16 08:26 AM Re: Gills in lake full of vegitation?! [Re: Smithaven]
Action_Jackson Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 01/18/15
Posts: 1265
Loc: Dallas, Texas
Originally Posted By: Smithaven
Action-Jackson. Your private mailbox is full. Please delete some old messages so we can send you a PM.

Messages cleared!
_________________________
Katchin krappie...doin surgeries(filleting)...and givin hott grease baths until krunchy and golden brown is what it's all about!!!

"STAY ready for the THUMP"!!!!

Top
#11442272 - 02/26/16 05:54 PM Re: Gills in lake full of vegitation?! [Re: Action_Jackson]
jagg Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 10/12/08
Posts: 3794
Loc: South Texas
Yup, hard bottom course sand and/or gravel will likely hold spawning beds. If there is any tree or grass shadow cover, the larger 'gills will spawn there.
_________________________
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless His Holy Name!

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